Posts Tagged ‘my mom’

les and trudyA few months ago, on a Binghamton listserv I follow, I was a tad startled to read, seemingly out of the blue, in response to someone else’s comment:

Q: Do you know who Leslie Greene is/was? he was born in 1927 became very close friends with my parents, he was black, his wife was white…I believe he was elected commissioner in the 70’s.

John (who’s about a decade older than I, and went to my church): Sadly the LESLIE GREEN that I knew passed away some years ago. His son Roger Green is a member of the I AM FROM BINGHAMTON NY site. Knew LES & his Wife as the GREEN Family was a major part of our TRINITY AME ZION CHURCH and active in the general African American Community and the General Binghamton NY area… Read the rest of this entry »

leonardnimoyIn light of Leonard Nimoy’s death on February 27, a not-unexpected event which nevertheless saddened me greatly, a couple family recollections.

When I was a teenager in Binghamton, NY, my father was a big fan of Star Trek, airing on NBC-TV in 1966-1969. He watched it every week, barring some meeting conflict. I’d wander into the living room, watch a scene or two, and walk away, bemused.
Read the rest of this entry »

rog.leg.meg.1962aprI grew up in Binghamton, which is in the Southern Tier section of New York State, not far from the Pennsylvania border. I had, and have, two sisters, Leslie Ellen Green, born about 16.5 months after my birth, and Marcia Elayne Green, born a little more than five years after me.

We grew up with our parents, Leslie Harold Green and Gertrude Elizabeth (nee Williams) Green, at 5 Gaines Street in the city’s First Ward. When I was born, my parents Read the rest of this entry »

trudy.pearlsAfter my sister Leslie and I left my grandmother in Charlotte, NC with my parents and my sister Marcia in January 1975, I went back to Binghamton, NY and stayed in my grandmother’s house. She had a coal stove, and I had SEEN her operate for years. But seeing and doing were two different things, and soon, the fire went out, and the pipes froze.

I was pretty depressed after the breakup of my marriage to the Okie, so I mostly watched television. I mean hours at a time. My grandma’s set got only one station, WNBF-TV, the CBS affiliate. So I watched the soap operas As the World Turns, The Edge of Night, Guiding Light, and Search for Tomorrow. Don’t remember watching any game shows except Match Game. Viewed the bulk of the CBS nighttime schedule, except perhaps the movies. And, heaven help me, I watched Read the rest of this entry »

trudy.pearlsOne of the truisms of my birth family dynamic was that, as the youngest, “baby” sister Marcia was the only one to move to Charlotte, NC when my parents did in 1974. Leslie and I were both in college in upstate New York, me in New Paltz, Leslie in the hometown of Binghamton. And while both of us stayed in Charlotte briefly, me for four months in 1977, Leslie or a few months a couple years later, neither of us ever became Charlotteans.

Whereas Marcia stayed in Charlotte for most of her life, save for a few months here and there. I remember more than one conversation with Marcia suggesting that she needed to get out of town, or at least out of the parents’ house, when she was in her early twenties. For a lot of reasons, it didn’t happen.

When my father died in 2000, it then became practical for Mom, and Marcia and her then-preteen daughter Alex to continue to live together. This was actually a sweetheart deal for Leslie, by then in San Diego, and me, in Albany. The three of them were all caring for each other. Leslie and/or I could visit periodically, but the day-to-day concerns of our mom was not our problem, because she was being taken care of.

So, it was not until shortly before my mother died in February 2011 that I realized how difficult my mother had become. Mom was a genuinely sweet person – seriously, ask anyone who knew her – but she would hit and occasionally yell, not at people who were strangers, but towards her family, Marcia and Alex. Mom would hide the mail, which became such a problem Marcia had to get a post office box.

Every six months, Mom would receive some cognition test. Her results in June or July of 2010 were within normal range, but the outcome for six months later was far less favorable. Again, I wasn’t aware of this.

At the end, Mom was clearly suffering some sort of dementia. Whether it was Alzheimer’s or something else I don’t know, and never will. And I suppose it doesn’t matter.

What DOES matter is that it was unfortunate that the bulk of the care for her fell on one person. I wish I had known sooner how difficult it had become.

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